Robert G. Heft, 67, who is credited with designing and sewing the first 50-star American flag, has died.

He died Saturday at a hospital in Saginaw, Mich., according to the Wakeman Funeral Home. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Mr. Heft made the flag in 1958 as part of a high school history project in Lancaster, Ohio. He spent more than 12 hours sewing the design on his mother's Singer sewing machine. President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Mr. Heft's design to replace the 48-star flag.

Born in Saginaw, Mr. Heft taught at Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio, before returning to Saginaw. - AP